Wedding Dresses 101: A Guide to Choosing The Best Bridal Silhouette

Wedding Dresses 101: A Guide to Choosing The Best Bridal Silhouette

Chances are if you are searching for your wedding dress you have visited your local bridal boutique to try on gowns. While you are shopping and trying on, you might hear lots of terms you’ve never heard before. Something along the lines of, “This is a Trumpet Gown, with a basque waist and a Plunging-V neckline embellished with Alencon Lace.” If sentences like that leave you wondering, “Ummm…what was that? Something, something…Lace????” we are here to help.

We launched our Wedding Dresses 101 series just to keep you informed about all the bridal terminology. This handy guide will help you familiarize yourself with all the different dress silhouettes. And if you are thinking to yourself, “Okay great, but I don’t even know what a silhouette is.” It’s simple, in basic terms a dress silhouette is what you see as you take your first glance at a dress – the outline of the dress. Silhouettes dictate how gowns fit and flatter a body, so it will be super beneficial to know which shape will look best on you. That said, we think you should try any silhouette gown you are drawn too. After all, it’s your day and your dress. And, rules are meant to be broken!

A-Line

Alluring A-Line dresses are one of the most flattering gown silhouettes. This style is extremely popular since it looks great on just about anyone, no matter what their body type. And, it is by far the best choice for pear shapes since it accentuates the top half of the body while camouflaging the lower half. Since the cut is narrow at the top and widens towards the hem in a gradual manner it smooths out any awkward lines and curves of the body. So named because A-Line gowns look like the letter “A” with their fitted bodices and skirts that widen out from the waist in a line to the hem.

This A-Line gown flows softly from the waist:

Lace cascades down this A-Line gown by Venus Bridal with a slightly more structured skirt. This one is prettily accented with a deep V neckline and beaded waist.

Ballgown

Beautiful ballgowns are the most traditional of all bridal gown silhouettes. They are characterized by fitted bodices (and waistlines) that lead to voluminously full skirts. The flare of the skirt is achieved by layers upon layers of fabric. This classic and elegant look is very popular because it flatters most figures and is especially good at hiding large hips. But it is also good for brides with narrow hips, as it can give a curvier look. However, there is a risk of getting swallowed up in the volume of the dress if you are rather petite. For a large bust, the Ballgown style will help create an hourglass look. We love this one by Sincerity Bridal which will make you feel just like a Princess:

This lovely Ballgown (Style 11070 by Sweetheart) features an illusion V-neckline accented with lattice beaded lace. The tulle circular cut skirt with a chapel length train completes the look perfectly.

Column or Sheath

The Column (or Sheath) style has slim lines that mimic the shape of an actual column. Simple and elegant a Column Silhouette can run straight from the neckline to the hemline, or it can hug your curves closely. Either way, a Column gown does not hide any problem areas, like a bigger lower body. And, this fit tends to make pear-shapes look off-balanced. Although flattering for several body types, depending on the fabric chosen, the Column Silhouette looks best on brides with sleek figures. It’s also a great choice for petite brides as the long lean lines add height.

Lasting Memories designed this elegant column gown:

Empire

Empire silhouette dresses have fitted bodices that stop just below the bust, giving the appearance of a high waist. These gowns feature skirts that fall with a slight flare and loosely skim the body, or they can be a bit more fitted. Like the A-line, the Empire Waist style fits well on most body types. And, it’s especially flattering for those brides with a smaller bust since it draws attention to the neckline. This style is a good choice for those with thicker waists as it can sweep softly over curves. If you want to hide your hips, however, this look is not for you.

Fit and Flare or Trumpet

Perfect for showcasing your shape, Fit and Flare gowns present an especially enchanting silhouette. Fit and Flare bridal gowns are also known as Trumpet because their skirts subtly flare from the hip toward the hem in a trumpet shape. This silhouette is form-fitting through the torso and hips and then begins to widen around mid-thigh. Easier to wear than the similarly silhouetted Mermaid, this option is roomy enough around the legs to allow you to walk comfortably. This is a nice option for curvy brides who are looking for a formfitting dress. Athletically built brides might feel boxy in this cut.

High Low

The playful High Low cut features a full circle skirt with a length that varies from short in front to long in back. The style originated in Victorian era dresses, when the hem style was known as the “fishtail.” This silhouette is flattering to most shapes and highlights the legs.

Jumpsuit

Bridal jumpsuits are a chic one-piece option for brides who want to avoid a skirt altogether. This can look fantastic on almost any size and shape. And jumpsuits are comfortable to wear all the way through the ceremony to the reception.

Mermaid

Curvaceous and very form-fitting, this wedding dress style is typically for the very confident bride. Mermaid gowns hug the body all the way down to the knees, where the dress flares out. This cut shows off ALL of a bride’s curves and is terrific for brides with hourglass figures. If you don’t want something tight, the mermaid is not for you.

Midi

Midi Silhouettes refer to dresses with hemlines that hit at mid-calf – halfway between the knee and ankle. These sweet dresses are universally flattering.

Romper

A Romper is a cute little short jumpsuit. This flirty and fun silhouette works adorably for destination weddings. If you want to show off your pretty legs, this might be your look.

 Slip

We recommend starting out by trying gowns especially suited to your body type. However, definitely try on other silhouettes as well. It’s your day and you might just find your dream dress in another cut.

Intimate and Cozy Micro Weddings

Less is More: Intimate and Cozy Micro Weddings

If are not feeling a big wedding consider having a micro wedding instead! Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a major production with hundreds of guests to manage on your special day? Imagine a smaller, more intimate celebration, with just the people closest to you in attendance. If a tiny wedding sounds like a dream then this trend in nuptials might be right for you. They’re the perfect antidote to excess and overwork. These days lots of people are deciding against the effort and expense of a full-scale wedding. Typically micro weddings are just like regular weddings with a beautiful venue, cake, photographer, food and flowers but just on a smaller scale with way fewer guests. Micro weddings usually include 50 or fewer guests, often limited to those most important to you, like family and very close friends. Having fewer guests means you can focus your budget on all the details you care about (while saving money), and provide a more meaningful experience for everyone.

Fairy Tales Do Come True

Luckily many event venues now offer tiny wedding options. Adorable Storybrook Farm in Jonesborough, Tenn. has a sweet Fairytale Micro Wedding Package for a mere $3995 + tax.

Photo: Sweet Snaps by Tara Hodges

This micro wedding plan accommodates 16 people and includes personalized assistance in planning your event. The staff at Storybrook Farm will also make sure your wedding runs smoothly with your very own ceremony coordinator. You can choose from the picturesque ceremony and reception locations on their beautiful property. An onsite officiant is available if needed — AND they can even legalize a union if your preferred officiant isn’t ordained. Floral elements are included for the bride and groom. Plus, they throw in a beautiful, mouth-watering wedding cake from one of the area’s best bakers. To sweeten the deal they even provide a Pinterest-worthy decorating service for your ceremony and reception. Finally, they include a delicious reception meal in one of their romantic gardens to end your event.

And Tiny Chapel Weddings, has a sweetly petite mobile chapel that comes to you. They will bring this adorable venue to you in any state with very reasonable rates starting at $1500: 

While a micro wedding is definitely a money-saver, it doesn’t have to be a minimalistic affair. According to The Knot, the average overall guest count for weddings is trending downward, while the average cost per guest is going up.  “Couples can certainly save money by going the route of micro weddings, though many decide to actually spend their full budget. Only on fewer people,” Cove explains. “Some couples will even take their budget and host the hotel rooms for their guests, along with transportation and other items that may not normally be affordable for a larger-size wedding.”

Some couples who decide to host micro weddings will splurge on goodies like a savory sit-down dinner and/or a top-shelf open bar. They are able to provide a more decadent event while keeping intimacy in mind. With a guest list of just your nearest and dearest, wonderful things become more feasible and affordable. Splurging on a sun-drenched destination weekend wedding, a gorgeous wedding dress or a delicious meal at a five-star restaurant is much more manageable when your guest list is tiny.

Is a Micro Wedding Right for You?

Planning your wedding is a personal experience, and only you will know if a micro wedding is right for you. We do know that big things can come in small packages, though, and a tiny wedding will provide just as much joy and heartfelt memories as any big event will. What’s most important is that you and your spouse are happy on your big day!

 

Some Beautiful Gilded Gown Brides of 2019

Some Beautiful Gilded Gown Brides of 2019

We absolutely love to when our brides send us photos from their special days. Here is a look at a few of our beautiful brides in their gorgeous dresses from The Gilded Gown:

Gracie

Gracie and Skyler celebrated at The Crowne Plaza Knoxville after getting married at a private ceremony in Virginia. Their photographer was Baily Hammett and her MUA was Chelsey Hobbs.
Thank you so much! My dress was everything I wanted and more! —Gracie

Abby

Abby and Cory got married this past fall at Butler Farm in Friendsville, TN! Jennifer Hutsell was their photographer

I absolutely loved my dress!! It was everything I wanted on my special day. Thank y’all so much!! —Abby

Taylor

Taylor and Cody had a gorgeous sunset ceremony in Panama City Beach, FL. The photographer was Brittany Barnes.

I had the best time getting to try on dresses to find “the one” at The Gilded Gown. —Taylor

Hillary

Hillary and Kyle married on a friend’s farm in Strawberry Plains, TN on October 5th. Faith Photography took their lovely photos.

Thank you for helping me find my dress!!!—Hillary

Alexis

Alexis and Chris Melton were married at The Barn at Meadow Farms. April Bowen was their photographer.
My dress was perfect! I couldn’t have been happier! —Alexis

Krystle

Krystle and Jeffery’s romantic fall wedding was held at Sampson’s Hollow in Walland, TN. The photographer was JM Squared Photography.

We made an appointment to look at the dress I saw on The Gilded Gown’s facebook page. I got there and tried it on and it was almost perfect. (I had to make alterations after I lost 30 pounds but it was still everything that I wanted.)  My sister, sister in law, best friend, and nieces were with me. Everyone encouraged me to try on others but I knew from the time I saw it on your Facebook post it was the one I wanted. The sweet girl that helped us, her name was Darby.  She was so patient.  My appointment had 3 future brides there including myself.  It was close to closing time and she did a wonderful job taking care of us.  My niece also found her wedding dress that day. It was perfect. —Krystle

Racheal

Rachael and Matt got married at the Carriage House in Jefferson City, Tennessee! Their photographer was Lions Creative Media.


I wanted to share a couple of my favorite wedding pictures in the dress of my dreams! I’m so thankful I had Tequila to help me find this perfect dress for my special day. It was so comfortable and so easy to dance in! Thank you again to everyone at Gilded Gown who helped me find this dress (and especially Tequila for being so sweet and helpful). I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do! —Rachael

Bree

Bree and Tanner said “I Do,” at Allandale Mansion in Kingsport, TN. LB Photography By Bekah shot the beautiful wedding day pics.

The Gilded Gown was by far the best and most affordable dress location we came across. The staff was very friendly and helped me find my dream dress. Thank you for all you guys do. —Bree

Ryann

Ryann and Jeff married at Flat Duck Farms in RinggoldGA.

I felt so beautiful, thank you for helping me find a perfect dress! —Ryann

Alyssa

Alyssa and Jordan said their, “I Dos” at the Ocoee River Barn in Benton, TN and their photographer was Della Williams.

Thank you very much! Your team was super helpful! —Alyssa

 

 

Kimberly and Tyler’s Perfectly Romantic Fall Wedding

 Kimberly and Tyler’s Perfectly Romantic Fall Wedding

Precious Tennessee couple Kimberly and Tyler married on October 26th at The Reserve at Bluebird Hill!  The beautiful setting provided the perfect backdrop for all their romantic moments. Luckily Jess and Joe Photography was on hand to capture every detail! Their day was filled with love and laughter, family and friends, pumpkins and pine cones, and a signature Dunkin Donuts drink! They chose to marry in the fall since it’s their very favorite season.
 We were thrilled when Kimberly shared her sweet story with us:
My husband and I met while he was in school at UT and serving downtown at Balter Beerworks. I went in to have brunch with two of my friends (who ended up being bridesmaids at our wedding). They left my number on the top of my check! We connected immediately and it was kind of a whirlwind after that. We got engaged on September 21, 2018 and we actually left our ceremony to September by Earth Wind and Fire. (Our string quartet learned it just for our wedding) After dating for almost a year and a half, Tyler proposed on my parents back porch. This was after I ruined multiple attempts on his part to surprise me. He finally did it and it was a surprise since I got engaged in my pajamas with no makeup on! It was the perfect proposal.
We were married at The Reserve at Bluebird Hill on October 26, 2019. We picked October because it’s our favorite time of year! The rain stayed away long enough for us to have our ceremony outside!
We had a burgundy, blush, and rose gold wedding with lots of pumpkins and pine cones!
One of our groomsman sang our first dance song live.
Our signature drink was the Dunkin Donuts Coffee Porter, because we are obsessed with Dunkin Donuts! My mom made pumpkin shaped mints in our wedding colors as favors along with cat and dog treats for our friends to take home to their pets.
We danced all night until our sparkler exit. It was a magical day! We left that night for our honeymoon in Jamaica!
We asked Kimberly about her dress shopping experience, and she was kind enough to share that with us as well:
The Gilded Gown was the only store I went in to try on dresses. I brought my mom, one of my future mother-in-laws, and two of my bridesmaids! I tried on several dresses that I thought were exactly what I was looking for, but they weren’t right. Miranda had me pick a dress that I never thought I would be interested in. A “for sure no” is what she called it. I never thought a mermaid style would be flattering and I was very against sleeves. But it was the only dress I kept going back to and comparing all the others to. Then when we put a veil on, it was the one!  It is actually like a modern version of my mom’s wedding dress! It was the perfect experience! Thank you so much! The dress was absolutely perfect!! I got sooo many compliments on it. I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful dress. I took it to one of your recommended alterations places, The Perfect Fit, and she was incredible!! Thank you so much for making me feel so beautiful on my special day!
 

Kimberly’s beautiful bouquet and all the lush wedding flower arrangements were done by String of Pearl Wedding Flowers.

Please join us in wishing all the joy and happiness to this adorable couple as they face the future together!
ALL THE AMAZING VENDORS
Dress & Veil: The Gilded Gown
Catering: Copper Cellar
Minister: Andrew Newman, Nuptials with Newman
Hair and Makeup: Edienna Smith
String Quartet: Anderson String Quartet
Alterations: The Perfect Fit

Wedding Floral Trend 2020: Spray Painted Bouquets & Arrangements

Wedding Floral Trend 2020:

Spray Painted Bouquets & Arrangements

We are absolutely wild for this stylish new trend in the floral world. Florists are using spray paint to transform ordinary floral designs into something out of this world and spectacular. They are taking the natural beauty of flowers, leaves, and branches and elevating them to dizzying new heights. We’re pretty sure this trend will be taking the wedding world by storm in 2020. Brides looking for something a little “extra” and unique will gravitate to these striking arrangments. We’ve found some of the most brilliant floral designers embracing this style and are happy to share them with you all:

The incredible Boston flower artist Krissy Price, owner of pollen

Krissy Price uses her massive artistic talents to create amazing works of flower art. She’s known around Boston for her amazing “flowerbombs” whereby she installs surprise floral moments with leftover blooms from weddings and events. “As an artist, it’s an opportunity to do something truly special and I hope that a lot of people can enjoy it. Instead of it being something that’s done for a corporation or a wedding, it’s truly giving back to the community,” she says.

She also is a master of this year’s trend, with works like this one, which incorporates subtle hints of light blue and pink spray paint:

She makes the most glamorous tablescapes and hanging installations, as well, like this boho dream pampas grass and palm creation:

The exuberant maestro of flowers, Manu Torres

Manu Torres, a Portland-based florist, is gaining international attention for his expressive, otherworldly floral styling. His energetic, eclectic and bright arrangements are truly works of art. Torres combines natural elements like flowers, grasses, feathers, fans, and leaves, and accentuates them with custom spray-painted accents and DIY elements.

His Monstera leaf installation would make a stunning backdrop for a tropical-inspired wedding:

His arrangements are both exotic and softly romantic at the same time. We love the delicacy of the babies breath mixed with the vibrantly painted leaves:

Pretty pastel colors elevate this arrangement to the extraordinary:

Manu’s creations are intoxicating! How gorgeous would this be as a bouquet?

You can purchase Torres’ work, even if you’re not based in Portland, by using his exuberant wedding and event invitations for your special day:

The Daring Designs of Bridget Vizoso

New York City florist Bridget Vizoso is using paint to bring her unique floral visions to life. Carefully hand-painted designs and Jackson Pollock-inspired splatters are her work’s signatures, resulting in florals “unlike anything you have ever seen before,” she said.

Bridget crafted this amazing ceiling arrangement with a rainbow of pretty colors:

Even her more traditional work is insanely beautiful:

How to Incorporate The Trend

It’s easy to incorporate this look for your wedding day. Search out inspirational pics on Instagram and Pinterest. Find a local florist with loads of artistic flair and show them your vision. They’ll love the opportunity to do something so creative and exciting.

This bold bridal bouquet from Weddingomania: delivers major tropical style with pink blooms, orange touches, and a pineapple spray-painted pink:

Top Ten Easy Ways to Go Green In 2020!

Since we are facing a brand new year and a shiny new decade it is a common time to take stock of ourselves and make resolutions to improve our health, and well being. But in 2020 it is also a wonderful time to work on helping our planet. Did you happen to see the documentary Blue Planet? It certainly is a wake-up call for all of us about the unsustainable way we humans are living. In fact, 97% of climate scientists agree we are facing a global warming emergency. But there’s hope for our planet. If we all do our part to make ourselves a little bit greener, then we can drastically reduce the issues our planet is facing. And, luckily there is a super-easy way to start. All you have to do is switch out a few products you use now for their eco-friendly counterparts! Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice style to be green.

Read on for our Top Ten Easy Ways to Go Green For 2020!

jute tote bag biodegradable custom designed

1. Switch from Plastic Bags To Reusable Bags

Americans use 100 billion plastic bags every single year. And only 1% of these bags are ever returned for recycling. The rest end up in landfills or in our waterways. Luckily, switching to reusable bags is the easiest plastic swap you can make and it comes with a set of benefits. In the long run, using reusable bags is more cost-effective. Many stores are introducing charges for single-use plastic bags to encourage people to bring their own, or they are scrapping single-use plastic bags altogether. Reusable bags are durable, useful and also help to save on resources. To produce the 100 billion plastic bags Americans use each year, it takes a staggering 12 million barrels of oil. This is having an immediate effect on the environment as fossil fuels contribute to global warming. Plus, by using reusable bags you will gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are not contributing towards the growing state of our environment. A single set of reusable bags could save up to 20,000 single-use bags being disposed of over a lifetime. Plus, with so many designs and styles to choose from, it’s easy to find beautiful bags that show off your personality.

We love these adorable totes by artist Claudia Pearson, available from West Elm.
And, how stinking cute are these reusable fruit bags? They fold up into the sweetest little fruit shapes. A set of ten runs about $15.

2. BYOS: Bring Your Own Straw

Instead of using plastic or paper straws, make the switch to steel or bamboo straws.

fizzy drink with bamboo straw

Plastic straws are a buzzword in many bars and cafes today. It’s estimated that 500 million straws are used in the US every day. As a result, many eco-conscious establishments are moving away from plastic and are trying to use paper straws instead. Although this is a step in the right direction, these single-use alternatives actually take more energy and resources to make than plastic. Instead, invest in your own straw made from metal or bamboo and help the environment and push away from our dependence on single-use plastic.

There are many benefits to investing in a reusable straw. First of all, they are safer and easier to use. Stainless steel straws are easy to clean, unbreakable and stay rigid. This means they are great to give to adults and children alike and can be used and transported with ease and without fear of damage. They are easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel straws are dishwasher safe and will often come with a little brush, allowing you to deep clean the inside if the need arises. Because they are yours you also have the added benefit of knowing that they are clean and no one has touched the straw you are using.

FinalStraw’s fun rainbow collapsible reusable straw comes with its own little carrying case that you can tuck into a pocket or purse.

 

3. Wrap it up in Beeswax!

modern kitchen featuring beeswax wrap set

As a society, we love to use food wraps. It’s a convenient way to keep our sandwiches fresh and our food covered. One study estimated that in a 6-month period, Americans use 10 million boxes of plastic food wrap. The bad news is this film is adding to the mounting plastic pollution crisis. The good news is there is a great eco-friendly alternative. Beeswax wraps are coverings made by combining beeswax and a natural cloth like cotton or hemp. These have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties as well as keeping the food inside moist. Something that plastic wraps simply cannot do. Because the wraps act as a natural barrier like a fruit’s skin, they also offer the food inside more protection. They can be used to cover food such as cheese, sandwiches, and uncovered bowls of food. All you have to do is use your hands to mold the wrap to whatever it is you are wrapping and it will naturally cling just like the plastic alternative.

We love that they are affordable and readily available, like these bright patterned beeswax wraps, from Amazon:

Beeswax wraps can be washed and reused again and again. Then, once they reach the end of their life, they are biodegradable, meaning that they can be composted or disposed of ethically. These innovative alternatives to plastic wrap are great for the environment as they can drastically reduce waste of plastic or foil wrappings. Also, because they save a great deal of wasted product, they will also save you money in the long run.

Etsy is a great resource for reusable food wraps, like these fun organic beeswax ones:

 4. Clean up with Plant-Based Sponges

loofah natural sponges and washcloths
Did you know that most of our sponges are made from plastic? And, that means microplastics from sponges come off every time you clean the dishes and are washed straight down the drain. These then have a direct line to our waterways and oceans, contributing to the trillions of microplastics floating in the seas. An easy way to stop this problem is to switch to plant-based sponges. These natural alternatives are just as good as the plastic ones (if not better) without impacting on the environment.

As with all sponges, they vary in size and texture so you will need to find one that suits your needs:

  • Cellulose sponges are soft and easy to find online. They are great for cleaning surfaces and washing dishes.
  • Loofahs are dried out with a spongy texture and are great for exfoliating skin. They also make a great replacement for scourers.
  • Sea sponges are super soft and really absorbent making them great for cleaning up spills or washing cars.
  • Silicon sponges are durable and recyclable. Perfect for those looking for something a little more hard-wearing.

Here is a set of ten plant-based sponges, available on Amazon for just $11.99 which would work well around your entire house:

Silicon aside, these sponges will all biodegrade over time and as long as they are untreated, they will leave no mark on the environment. They are just as cheap and readily available as plastic sponges which is a bonus and they are extremely versatile. They can do all the jobs your regular sponge does, so there is no reason not to switch really.

5. Start Using Reusable Coffee Cups (and Lids)

coffee cup tossed into air
One of the most talked-about single-use plastic items currently on the market is the coffee cup. This is in part due to the incredible volume that we go through daily as a population. In fact, 16 billion coffee cups are used and disposed of each year. Because they are made from mixed materials they are not widely recycled, meaning they are thrown away and dumped in landfills. In this case, there is an easy, cost-effective alternative – reusable coffee cups. Perhaps the best part is they don’t have to break the budget with the cheapest being around the $5 mark. Of course, there are more expensive options with heatproof walls, gorgeous designs, and flexible silicone lids. There are also some great benefits to reusable coffee cups. Firstly, they will be cost-effective in the long run. Many coffee places will actually charge you less for using your own reusable cup as an incentive to ditch the plastic.

Our pick, Frank Green’s stylish reusable coffee cups:

Because they are made out of durable materials such as stainless steel, bamboo or even glass, they are far better at keeping your coffee warm for longer as well as being more customizable. The bamboo ones are fairly cheap and come in a whole host of patterns. This makes your coffee drinking experience far more stylish. The stainless-steel ones are effective for the outdoors, are durable and often have a handle, meaning no need for a heatproof sleeve and no burnt fingers. Reusable cups usually have a silicon lid too, meaning that there is no plastic involved. It also means that the whole cup is dishwasher safe and easy to clean, as well as lightweight and durable.

Finally, the most important benefit of all is that they are eco-friendly. You can have a sense of satisfaction knowing that you are helping to keep the environment safe and reducing single-use product usage.

6. Swap Out Your Plastic Ear Swabs

Cotton Balls and Q-tips in Mason Jars
Change out your plastic swabs for the paper versions! These tiny plastic sticks wreak havoc on wildlife as well as your ears. In fact, the UK has plans to ban the sale of plastic cotton swabs by 2020. Thankfully there are now many brands that make compostable, paper-based earbuds. These also have all-natural cotton on the bud themselves. These are far better for the environment than traditional ones are because they will degrade quickly without damaging wildlife. The plastic counterparts have been found as a major cause of the fatberg issue that has plagued major cities sewers. Because the paper versions biodegrade, they will not pose such a threat. They are comparable in price to traditional ones and as this trend rises, it will likely bring the cost down even more as brands are forced to compete. We found these organic cotton buds, by Bambaw, on Amazon:

7. Recycled Toilet Paper

dog shreds toilet paper
Hold on a sec, toilet paper isn’t plastic, is it? No, actually toilet paper is just that – paper. It biodegrades when it’s flushed away and doesn’t contribute to the plastic crisis. But toilet paper is still a major cause of the climate crisis because thousands of trees are cut down yearly to meet the demand for toilet roll. 84 million rolls of toilet paper are used in the US every single day. What’s more, with the focus on plastic pollution getting stronger, fewer and fewer companies are concerned with finding recycled alternatives to toilet roll. We need to shift the focus and find alternatives to this growing issue. We suggest trying Seventh Generation 100% recycled bath tissue:
 

It is so much better for the environment than the alternative. Recycled paper means that not only are fewer trees cut down to fuel the demand but also thousands of species homes and natural habitats are left intact. The recycled toilet paper also uses far less energy to make as well – 50% less energy in its creation and 90% less water. This means that there are far fewer fossil fuels going into the atmosphere than with regular paper. Finally, you’ll be surprised how similar it feels to regular toilet paper. You won’t even notice you have made a change for the better.

 8. Bring Your Own Reusable Utensils

reusable utensil set in carry case
This might seem like a no brainer. Most of us don’t throw away our utensils after they have been used once, right? But how many times have you used a plastic set of cutlery when you’re at a cafe or used takeaway containers? Reusable dishware uses far less energy and resources over its lifetime as well as leaving a far smaller footprint on the environment. We sourced this adorable Zero Wate Utensil Set on Etsy:

You can feel great about using this super cute utensil set! Simply toss in your bag, purse or lunch box and forget about using disposable utensils again! Each and every time you use this set you are keeping plastic, single-use utensils out of the landfill:

9. Stop Tossing Those Rounds, Use Reusable Makeup Pads

 

One easy change is to stop purchasing disposable cotton rounds. These pose a similar issue to the use of cotton swabs. Makeup pads clog up drains, landfills or worse, the oceans. Most store-bought makeup pads are actually made with plastic, meaning they don’t break down naturally. There are some great alternatives on the market to replace the ones you currently use. They are reusable and washable and made from a bamboo cloth fiber that is eco-friendly. Because they are washable, they are essentially a zero-waste product and are currently top sellers on Amazon.

They are easy to use and are more environmentally conscious than single-use pads. They are also usually a little larger than regular pads meaning that you can do more with less before needing to wash them. They are compatible with makeup removers as well such as micellar water. They are easy to clean and can be hand washed or put into the washing machine in a mesh bag. They are also good for your skin because they are gentler than regular pads and also do not contain any chemicals or bleaching agents, which many single-use pads do. We love this reusable set from Beauty Heros:

 10. Carry Your Own Sustainable Water Bottle

portable glass water bottle eco-friendly
 Globally, humans use 1 million plastic bottles every minute. It’s easy to think that plastic bottles aren’t an issue because they are recycled. But perhaps a more shocking fact is around 91% of all plastic isn’t recycled. Instead, it is incinerated, sent to landfill, or washed into our oceans. Thankfully, we are waking up to the problem of plastic bottles. The public is demanding corporations and governments make significant changes to current policies. But while plastic producing companies have a pivotal role to play, we as individuals can help to direct them by changing our habits.

There are many benefits when it comes to switching to reusable drinks containers. The biggest is obviously the environmental impact that the industry has. By using reusable water or drink bottles, you can help stop thousands of plastic bottles ending up in landfills or the ocean. Another benefit is the cost savings for you, especially if you have a larger family. With more and more cities installing drinking fountains and cafes filling up bottles for free, you can save a chunk of change on buying water bottles by taking your own and refilling.

Reusable water bottles that are not made from plastic are also healthier for you and the environment. A lot of fossil fuel goes into the production of plastic, increasing the amount of greenhouse gas that is released into the atmosphere. The less plastic we use the fewer gases that are released.

Not only that but research shows plastic bottles can harbor harmful bacteria. As the bottles break down, bacteria find its way into the micro-tears and cracks of the bottle, eventually finding its way into your system. A great advantage of stainless steel or glass reusable bottles is that they are easy to transport around as they are generally lightweight. They are durable, really easy to clean, and they will also be able to go into the dishwasher. It’s a no-brainer!

 

Thanks to Custom Earth Promos for collaborating with us on this blog.

Please read more about helping save our planet below:

Creating a Sustainable Future

If you ask people why they think we need to become more environmentally friendly as a society, you’ll hear a variety of answers. Some want to stop the mass extinction of hundreds of endangered species. Others want to clean the oceans of the millions of tons of plastic.

But in a recent survey by sustainable earth, the number one reason given for changing our ways was to make sure that future generations had just that – a future.

Now, you may ask what difference can we make as individuals? And there are indeed just 20 firms responsible for a third of all carbon emissions today. But the choices we make as individuals in our day to day life do play a part in forging a sustainable future.

If as a collective we all made some simple lifestyle changes, those small impacts can start to add up and make a difference. It causes the government and large corporations to sit up and take notice. These changes can be as simple as swapping one product on your next trip to the supermarket, choosing a responsible eco-friendly company over an oil-guzzling conglomerate, or simply reusing that coffee cup.

There are many cheap and easy ways that we as individuals can make a change for the better. Below, we will explore some of the different ways we can make a sustainable future possible for the next generation.

The Problem with Disposable and Single-use Products
First of all, what are single-use products and why are they such a problem? These are products intended for one use and one use only. They are usually made of plastic and are a huge cause for concern.

Examples of single-use products include:

  • Drink bottles
  • Straws
  • Food containers and packaging
  • Shopping bags
  • Cigarette butts
  • Coffee cups and lids

Originally created to make our lives easier, these single-use items are wreaking havoc on our environment. It can take thousands of years for a single plastic bag to degrade. Now, there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic clogging our oceans. And this issue isn’t going away. As the plastic degrades or breaks down, it leaches chemicals into the waterways and air, causing untold issues scientists are still trying to measure.

This pervasive problem is spreading to every corner of the planet. Alarming new studies have even found microplastics deep in the arctic snow. Scientists now believe we will be labeled the age of plastic.

Luckily, we are waking up to this issue and changing our ways. Every day, new and innovative solutions are found to reduce our reliance on plastic. Giving us eco-friendly alternatives that will help save our planet.

Let’s take a look at some eco-friendly alternatives to the most damaging single-use plastic items. By making the easy swap to these eco-friendly products, you’ll drastically reduce your reliance on single-use plastic.

What Can Companies Do?

 It’s important we all make these easy swaps to more environmentally alternatives. But there is also so much that companies can do to make a difference.

Let’s take a look at what some companies are doing to lead the way in fighting climate change.

Alphabet

This is Google’s parent company and has recently taken the number one spot of publicly traded companies making clean energy a priority. This company is fully powered by renewable energy.

Evian

We’ve already seen the huge impact plastic bottles are having on the environment. But water company Evian are doing their part to rectify it. By 2025, they aim to use 100% recycled water bottles. Most water bottle companies use only 7-8% recycled plastic, so this is a huge statement by the water giant. Hopefully, many others will follow suit.

McDonald’s

This billion-dollar company is beginning to make strides to fight the war on plastic and climate change. In the UK, they’ve pledged to remove all plastic toys from happy meals, saving 320 tons of plastic each year. They’ve also reported that by 2025, all packaging (including straws) will be sourced from recycled, renewable, or sustainable sources.

American Airlines

This company has already stopped using plastic straws on its flights in response to the plastic crisis. But now they are also phasing out single-use plastics in their lounges around the world. Their new initiative will save over 32 tonnes of plastic each year.

IKEA

IKEA has been at the forefront of the environmental policy of all retail stores for years. In 2008, IKEA removed single-use plastic bags from their stores with great success. Now, they aim to use only renewable or recycled materials in the entire store by 2030. That means all products available at IKEA, from sofas to kid’s toys, will be made with 100% recycled or renewable materials. This is a massive statement to make and hopefully will encourage other major retailers to follow suit.

Supply and Demand

At the end of the day, all major companies are driven by profit. And although many companies are making strides to help the environment, much more could still be done. It is up to us as consumers to show major retailers and corporations that there is a thriving market for environmentally friendly alternatives.

If more people made eco-friendly switches, there would be a larger market for these products and more companies would get on board. It’s now our job to use our buying power wisely and invest in companies that are doing the most to fight the climate crisis.

Where Are We Heading?

If we don’t make significant changes, it’s tough to see a bright future ahead of us if we continue on this unsustainable trend. We are polluting the ocean and the air and killing wildlife with our throw-away culture.

The good news is that we are not beyond saving yet and it really couldn’t be any easier to make a positive change for ourselves and the planet.

When it all seems a little overwhelming and like you can’t make a difference, remember this famous quote from Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Heartfelt and Happy! Hand-Painted Wedding Cakes!

Heartfelt and Happy!

Hand-Painted Wedding Cakes!

Wedding cakes are no longer just three tiers of white with some fondant on top. These days bakers are crafting amazing works of art in edible form. And, we are absolutely wowed by the latest trend to come along. Hand-painted wedding cakes are artistic, custom, heartfelt and happy.

So Versatile!

Since each and every hand-painted cake is custom-made they are adaptable to any style. In fact, cakes can be painted with the same techniques artists use on an actual canvas. For example, this lovely yellow cake awash with delicate pastel flowers delivers Impressionist vibes:

Like the breathtaking work of Claude Monet:

Cake as the Canvas

These days confectioners are hand-detailing a dazzling array of items like garlands, portraits, monograms, flourishes, flowers, trees, and birds. But our favorite trend is painted copies of actual handwritten love notes from the bride to the groom or vice versa.

 

Also, hand-painted cakes are versatile because anything is possible. If you can dream it, somebody can paint it. Include a hand-painted cake at any style wedding, whether you are planning a casual beach soiree or a more formal event.

Small Brushstrokes = Major Style

First of all, even the simplest details, when hand-done, deliver major impact.

Anything is Possible!

Secondly, your wedding day vision can be fulfilled because any design is possible (from flamingos to family crests) with the deft artistry of a cake maker.

For example, cakes can be softly romantic. The addition of a few well-chosen words painted on the bottom layer of this cake makes it so special. And the top layer is hand speckled like a robin’s egg:

Or, you can go for a pop of color. This classy cake features gorgeous sapphire brushstrokes:

Or, if you are searching for a copper cake, consider this one. The crisp outlines in black look like an ink drawing:

Or, if you are into a burgundy color palette, take a look at this pair of cakes:

The artistry of handwork on cakes pairs perfectly with three-dimensional elements like flowers.

Confectioners can use different painting techniques to create amazing works of cake art. We love this gouache style cake.

Delicate watercolor flowers adorn this sweet cake:

Certainly, birds and branches are a popular theme on tiered wedding cakes for 2020:

This vintage-inspired single layer cake by the award-winning British bakers at Juniper Cakery is very pretty. Fashion-forward and youthful this cutie features a monogram in a gilded frame.

We love this soft pastel pink dress. It is giving us fairy, woodsy vibes with a chic twist.

This spectacular cake is like a slice of stained leaded glass heaven. Inspired by Art Nouveau designer Louis Comfort Tiffany and his famous lamps.

Full of whimsy this cake has adorable portraits of the bride and groom and a cute scalloped edge first layer.

Even a simple splash of handiwork in gold provides drama on this cake:

Next, this bohemian masterpiece which combines Geometric shapes with free-form gilding by Gateaux Inc. This beauty was featured on The Cake Blog.

Last up we have this dramatic cake, with a profusion of gorgeous flowers attached to a matte black two-layer confection.

To conclude, whatever cake you decide on for your wedding day, we hope you consider using some lovely, hand-painted elements.

Gearing up for PROM 2020 at the Gilded Gown

We’re gearing up for PROM 2020 at The Gilded Gown! We are so super pumped and excited for this year’s Prom Season! And, we can’t wait to show you ALL of the gorgeous gowns our team found for you at the markets in Chicago, New York, and Atlanta! You’re going to love our exclusive selection of beautiful dresses in all sizes, styles, and at all price points.

This year we have more exclusive designers than ever before! We have more styles on the floor! We have all sizes from 000-36! And we have the best staff of stylists who love to help you find your dream dress! We also have easy layaway terms, a fun atmosphere, and the most gorgeous gowns we’ve ever had in the store! We are in our beautiful, brand new location at 8435 Kingston Pike. There are plenty of spacious dressing rooms too (22 of them)! For your convenience we are open every single day: Monday through Saturday our hours are 11 am to 7 pm and on Sundays, we are open from Noon to 6 pm.

This season is all about neutrals, pops of bold color, off-shoulder looks, deep plunging necklines, spaghetti straps, cutaway skirts, slits, and sparkle.

In order to give you all a sneak peek into this year’s looks, we recently held a styled shoot at the swanky and hip Hyatt Place on Gay Street. We rolled rack after rack of dresses into the hotel and carted in boxes of jewelry past onlookers in the lobby. We set up a giant dressing area in one of the hotel’s huge conference rooms. Team GG got the dresses all lined up for the models.

and a ton of accessories.

Here’s most of our crew. It takes a lot of people to run a shoot! (Snacks help!)

Local photographer and voice over artist Todd Ethridge was on hand to capture images of the gorgeous models, Alex, Savannah, Joshalyn, Chardonai, and Katelyn who are all represented by Gage Talent; plus Jailyn and Joshalyn who are free agents.

Jailyn is currently starring in ads for Altar’d State:

Alex:

Chardonai:

Joshalyn is a stylist with The Gilded Gown who has been modeling since she was 14.

Savannah:

Katelyn:

Our owner, Jacqui, made sure all the straps and tags were tucked in before each shot.

And the models had fun showing off all the dresses in the cozy and inviting hotel!

The people in the lobby didn’t seem to mind us and all our extra-ness:

We fell in love with this sequin wall:

(So, we are totally going to install a wall inspired by this one at our new store!)

Speaking of sequins…this year is all about the sparkle for prom:

This trio of gowns puts the spotlight on several trends: off-shoulder, deep v, and a cutaway skirt.

V necklines are definitely a thing for 2020:

Ballgowns are always in style!

We are loving the simpler satin gowns too, with their dramatic plunging necklines:

Perfect to pair with some bling!

Metallics and lace are trending again this year, too:

 

 

Brandi and Michael’s Beautiful Backyard Wedding

Brandi and Michael’s beautiful backyard wedding is giving us all the feels. We love that this adorable couple got married in their very own backyard. We love that they paid careful attention to so many thoughtful details for their guests. Oh, and that they had a band, a stunning sparkler display, a dance floor, AND allowed dogs! And, most of all, we love the relaxed, carefree vibe of their wedding. Luckily, Shoop-Shots Photography was on hand to capture the spirit of the day. A day full of love, happiness, togetherness, family and friends.

Before The Ceremony

Brandi and her bridal party got ready in the house before the ceremony. They shared lots of laughter and tender moments. Like this precious glimpse of Brandi’s daughter Bristol taking a long look at her mama’s wedding dress!

Gorgeous Brandi rocked a pair of cowboy boots with her Sincerity Bridal Venice Lace Fit and Flare dress from the Gilded Gown.

Layers of organza, tulle and Chantilly lace combined in this romantic fit and flare wedding dress. We love that Brandi customized the gown by adding lace sleeves, too.

Getting ready at your own house seems so effortless and cozy. Plus you don’t have to pack up all your wedding stuff, either!

Sometimes it takes two to get a bride in a dress!

We think Brandi is thinking, “I’m so happy I’m about to marry the man of my dreams!”

Brandi is a vision of loveliness as she prepares to walk down the aisle. First she stops to straighten her jewelry.

Here Comes The Bride

And we have a picture of utter bridal perfection. Brandi, breathtaking.

Her bouquet combined navy and maroon flowers with fresh pops of green:

Their scenic property provided a picture perfect backdrop for this beautiful bride.

The Bridal Party

Brandi’s bridesmaids included her lovely step-daughter Sydney.

Daughter Bristol was her flower girl.

Sydney shed some sweet tears as she walked down the aisle:

The Groomsmen

Michael’s guys came out to support him in style in their jeans and shades of navy and maroon.

Michael looked sharp in his suit.

The handsome groom:

The tiny jute rope on the boutonniere lent charm to his arrangement:

The Details

Brandi and Michael made sure every detail complimented their color scheme of maroon and navy, and their casual, rustic elegance theme. Galvanized metal held an array of flowers:

A wood framed sign proclaimed their love:

How funny is this barn wood sign alerting attendees that they will be heavily photographed even after visiting the bar a few times!

The table decor included painted mason jars and Gerbera daisies.

They even had a fun cake topper!

The Ceremony

Loved ones gathered to celebrate the union.

Groomsmen walked bridesmaids down the aisle.

Brandi was glowing as she faced her future husband.

The couple exchanged their vows with big smiles and happy hearts.

You can see how much they love one another!

The Reception

As day turned to night, the band started to play.

And, folks took to the dance floor:

Happily Married

They did it! We know Brandi and Micheal will always remember their wedding day and the fun they had with their family and friends. All they have to do is look in their own backyard.

THEIR AMAZING WEDDING VENDORS

Dress – The Gilded Gown
Venue – Bride & Grooms Home
Tent – All Occasion Party Rentals
Makeup & hair – Chelsea Hayes
Band – The Clint Keeton Band
Food – Lee’s Barbecue & Catering Service
Cake – James Baker

With: Josh Shoopman

https://www.shoop-shotsphotography.com/…/Blaker-Wedding-2019

Enjoy the Serenity of an Unplugged Wedding Ceremony

Not Today, Cell Phones, Not Today

Cell phones play such an important role in our lives these days. They guide us where we want to go, provide a portal to the world, and connect us with our friends online. Phones enable us to check the weather, the time, and the news. We can take photos, post pics, share photos, as well as check out other people’s pics. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and GOOGLE are all available right there in the palm of our hands. But, as awesome as they are, phones can also be a distraction from real life, authentic connections and, frankly, what is happening right in front of us. Sometimes we all just need to put down our phones and experience things IRL.

Would you rather look out and see the faces of your loved ones or a row of cell phones?

Put ‘Em Down Folks

When you host the most special day of your life and say your “I dos” in front of all your loved ones, we know you want them to be present for it. And, we’re pretty certain that you (as the couple standing in front of them) are willing to forgo your phones while you stand up to say your vows. In fact, you probably won’t have the time or inclination during your entire wedding celebration to even glance at your phones. So you might want to consider having a phone-free wedding. Let everyone present experience the day together without worrying about getting the perfect photos, or answering texts, or checking sports scores. Let everyone have a break from social media and bask in the love surrounding them. We are sure all your guests will also enjoy the serenity of an unplugged wedding!

Put ’em down, guys! Enjoy the precious moment happening right in front of you!

There will be resistance to this idea. We’re all pretty darn attached to our phones, right?

They Might Think You’re Crazy

Don’t worry, we have a few ideas on how to make this rebellious concept of a NO PHONES event work, without upsetting a bunch of folks. Sure they may think you’ve lost your mind, and they may go ahead and look at their phones anyway. Addictions go deep. But at least you can cut down on the distracting mobile devices in the air by gently suggesting an unplugged event. Try using adorable children holding a sign, for instance:

Or, post a nicely calligraphed sign at the entrance of your event. The pretty writing delivers your request in such a sweet manner, people will be compelled to comply:

Consider some carefully composed verbiage in your invites and/or programs.

Photo: http://www.leahhaydock.com/

Maybe Pass the Buck?

You could also have your ushers mention your request to the guests as they are being seated. Others who can help you in your crusade are your wedding planner and/or your officiant. But you don’t want to go overboard with the anti-cell phone vibe. One or two reminders should be plenty. People who choose to ignore a couple of reminders will most likely ignore twenty. And you don’t want the focus of your special day to become just how against mobile devices you are either. Say your piece, peacefully, and then let people do as they will.

Not a phone in sight. And look, hands are free to hold wine glasses!

A Way With Words

“Thank you for coming! We have but one plea. Please keep our ceremony camera-free. Though our I Do’s are unplugged, our reception is not. Once our vows are exchanged, you’re free to take a shot!”

“The greatest gift you can give us today is to be truly present, so please turn off all phones and cameras and enjoy this special moment with us.”

“The bride and groom request that you turn off all electronics and refrain from taking pictures until after the ceremony. Thank you.”

“Please, turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks – we encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology.”

“After ceremony use your electronic devices you can.” – Yoda